ATLANTA, Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Biotechnology played a pivotal role in the development of more targeted drugs in 2012 as the science continues to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of diseases. The volatile biopharmaceutical industry ‑ historically comprised of venture-backed start-ups ‑ produced some whopping news in 2012, from the first new obesity drug in 13 years to a heated race to develop the first all-oral, side-effect-free treatment for hepatitis C. Nothing, however, was bigger than the arrival of the pharmaceutical industry at the long-dreaded patent cliff.
As blockbuster drugs began going off patent in droves, big pharmas saw sales swoon, creating potential opportunities for nimble biotechs – particularly in technologies such as therapeutic vaccines, stem cells and tissue replacement. Erosion from generics will erase some $148 billion from pharma industry revenues by 2018.
"BioWorld's editorial team voted on the 10 most poignant stories that emerged in 2012, and big pharma's patent cliff was undeniably No. 1," said Lynn Yoffee, BioWorld's executive editor. "As the stalwart pharmaceutical giants are stumbling to replace lost revenues and replenish development pipelines, they are either turning to partner with biopharmaceutical firms or building their own biotech divisions. Either way, it's a nod to the increased reliance on the science of biotechnology as a primary driver in the development of the most effective human therapeutics."Read about BioWorld's Top 10 at www.bioworld.com. The other nine stories of 2012 include:2. The All-Oral HCV Race3. New Obesity Drugs Pass FDA Muster4. Two Firsts: Biologic Blockbuster and Biosimilar MAb5. The Rocky Fundraising Road Continued6. JOBS Act + FDASIA Pass Despite U.S. Political Squabbles7. Genomics Finally Arrives (With a Real Purpose)8. The First Gene Therapy is Approved9. Through the Thicket of Alzheimer's Failures10. A Nobel Prize for Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough